Author Archives: Fran

Video: The Myths of Chartering

Zero Chance of passage
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Guest Post by Ember Reichgott Junge


What a fun interview with Bob Bowdon of Choice Media TV, in New York City! We talked chartering and education issues from the 1990s to now, and he even included a 1997 C-Span clip of my presentation to President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. I was in New York to participate in the Writer’s Digest conference, where my book, Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story was recognized as the 2013 Grand Prize Winner of the Self-Published Book Awards. Whether you are a long-time veteran in chartering and education or just curious to learn more, I think you’ll find this a fun conversation!

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New Study: Charter School Graduates More Likely to Go to College

Zero Chance of passage

Guest Post by Ember Reichgott Junge


The National Charter Schools Conference opened this morning with a standing-room-only crowd for the first general session—due to a record-breaking 4,600+ attendees to the conference!  True, the conference site in Las Vegas may be attractive to some, but remember, it is  111 degrees outside!  In my view, people are here because they are committed to personal growth and growth of a strong charter sector.  And we all love lots and lots of networking.


Nina 150x150 New Study: Charter School Graduates More Likely to Go to College

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Charter Schools: Bipartisanship Rises Up in Washington DC!

charter school

 I was pleased to join Minnesota Congressman John Kline, chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, as he announced new federal charter schools legislation at Global Academy in Columbia Heights on March 31.  Rep. Kline was joined by Rep. Luke Messer (R-Indiana), chair of the House School Choice Caucus, Greg Richmond, President and CEO of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA), and charter school leaders from Minnesota, as we engaged in a roundtable discussion about the future of chartering. 

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The Debate For an Extended School Day



Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the debate for an extended school day. Many argue that we should be focusing on improving the quality of classrooms and teaching rather than paying teachers more for extra hours. Watch the video and learn more about the debate for en extended school day.

What do you think about an extended school day?

1 The Debate For an Extended School Day

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Is An Elementary Teacher’s Pay Really That Bad?

Teacher Salary
Is an Elementary Teacher's salary really that bad? How does teacher pay compare? For decades, researchers have asked whether teacher compensation has kept pace with outside job opportunities, and whether compensation is sufficiently competitive to attract the quality of instructors desired. Review the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics in this education infographic and decide for yourself.

Inspired Leaders vs. Imposed Leaders: Which are you?

School Leadership | Leaders
Go to any bookstore and you will find multiple shelves stacked with books that focus on nothing else but leadership. One might discuss how to become a leader, another how to remain a leader and another try to describe what is a leader in the first place. Not to be outdone, I would like to offer a simple definition of leadership (not my own, but I have no recollection where I heard it) and discuss its implications for school leadership.

The Golden Rule Revisited

Moral Education, The Golden Rule
Has it been over 2000 years already? Time seems to fly by when you’re having so much fun. Of course, I’m talking about all those philosophical discussions that have taken place trying to figure out the secret to raising the moral child. Many of us feel it is of upmost importance for schools to be involved in this worthwhile pursuit; the question is in what capacity?

Moral Education: Is it for children?

Teaching Morality in the Classroom

iStock 000012241086XSmall 150x150 Moral Education: Is it for children?I hope you’re not one of the many people whose eyes start to glaze over when we begin to talk about the place of moral education in our schools. “Shouldn’t that be left to religion?” is a frequently heard comment. But the most common is, “Aren’t they a bit young to start thinking about stuff like that?”


Well, to answer both questions, no.

First of all, morality in its most basic sense is a universal human truth and not a religious belief. Every culture known to man has always agreed upon fundamental moral principles. For example, there is no known culture which has condoned harming others without good reasons. While we do argue about what constitutes good reasons, the basic rule still applies.

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Just Say No Way

Just Say No To Bullying
I know you’re going to call me naive. I know you’re going to say that simple solutions to complex problems can do more harm than good. I’m even reminded of a mental health professional who remarked that the ‘Just Say No” campaign to battle teenage substance abuse was like trying to battle the problem of homelessness by giving everyone a button saying “Just Buy A Home”. This would certainly hold true when speaking of dealing with bullies. But I’m going to throw it out there anyhow.

To Lead or not to Lead? School Leadership and Management

Leadership and Management of School Principals
Principals are busy people. It is no secret that all principals are required to wear a variety of ‘hats’, assuming the role of manager, social worker, leader, fund raiser, to name just a few. In many instances it is the ability of principals to juggle these ‘hats’ that determines their professional success or failure.

Chasing Excellence and Catching Greatness Along The Way

Great Teachers, High expectations
What is the secret to the great teacher? What is it that defines the master educator? Mastery of the subject being taught is essential, as is a passion for the subject as well as for transferring knowledge or skill to students. Additionally, one would require some training or natural talent in order to employ the most effective methodologies available. Mastery, passion, training and talent; impressive, but something is missing.

Virtual Learning

Virtual Education | Online Education | Cyber Schools
I always teach my kids never to call anyone stupid. So you’ll have to excuse me for my language when I ask, “How stupid can they be?” No, I’m not referring to my kids, I’m referring to all those who are riding the wave of the newest craze, virtual education.

Why Don’t We Talk Anymore?

Parent-Teacher Meeting
Why? Let’s be frank, it’s usually because I don’t particularly care to talk to you. This holds true in social relationships and it holds true in parent- teacher communication. We simply don’t want to talk.

Why do I have to know this stuff?

Why can't I remember what I learn in school?
We have previously argued that educators must play the role of both facilitating the learning process and filtering the acquired knowledge so that students not only learn but also know what they must remember. The expiration date of unfiltered knowledge will be determined by the date of the final test. The point made was that if students are asked to remember almost everything they learn, (an impossible task) they will respond by forgetting almost everything they learn. Clearly communicating to students which knowledge is of enduring value is the key to solving the ‘why our students know so little’ syndrome.